This is close to a duplicate of something you posted yesterday.
The definite article before nouns derived from verbs
Either omitting or using the definite article is acceptable grammatically in these examples. As your question recognizes, which option you choose is a matter of style, which is personal and thus not subject to rule.
However, I shall give you my stylistic judgments, but others will likely disagree with what ultimately are matters of aesthetics.
In number 1, I would not use "the" because there is no intent to refer to a specific member of a class with multiple members.
I would reach the same conclusion about number 2 for the same reason.
Number 3 strikes me as a rather awkward sentence, but I could go either way with "the" because there could be many ways to redistribute wealth.
In number 4, which is incomplete, I would probably use "the" because, were the thought completed, it would probably be referring to some election or to some senators rather than to the entire class of senators elected in history.
Notice you can eliminate the whole issue by using present participles as gerunds: "protecting" rather than "protection," "redistributing" rather than "redistribution," and "electing" rather than "election."